Closer look at available cap space


Salary cap space is always fluid, but it helps to have a general range of where a team stands. Along these lines, NFL.com has compiled a nice list for all 32 teams and this is what it shows for the Patriots:

Adjusted cap: $129.6 million (this is the number the Patriots must be in compliance with)

Cap space used: $116.2 million

Available space: $13.4 million

A few things to keep in mind with these numbers:

1. Currently, only the top 51 cap figures are accounted for with salary cap calculations.

2. As part of future planning, draft picks must be accounted for, so a club always wants to leave itself some cushion. That cushion would also account for any moves made during the season, which is important flexibility for any team to have.

3. Because salary cap space can be carried over, there is also an element of planning for 2014 to keep in mind. The Patriots carried $5.6 million over from 2012 to 2013.

4. Accounting for where the Patriots currently stand, one could envision a few low to mid-level signings, but nothing major. The feeling here is that an offer sheet to Steelers restricted free agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders would still be possible, but the idea of a high first-year cap charge ($5 million or more) to make it hard for the Steelers to match might be counter-productive.